Our son is home from college for the summer! He goes to a university that is more than 300 miles from home. That is a 7 hour trip in the car. We drove there on Saturday, loaded up all his worldly possessions, and drove home on Sunday.
Last summer when he and I made the trip alone for freshman orientation we left very early in the morning and made few stops in order to arrive on time for the first afternoon session. I was getting rather stiff from sitting so long in the car. So I started tensing and relaxing different muscle groups. It felt really good.
In road trips since then I have come up with a pattern I call "Five Minute Isometrics." I set the cruise control. I never take my hands off the wheel, and I never take my eyes off the road, but I can get a good workout in the car.
I isolate a muscle group and tense it HARD and then relax it. I stay with the same muscles for five minutes on the car's digital clock, and then I switch to another muscle group. (For instance I start with left quad, right quad, right bicep, left bicep. I repeat that pattern for 5 minutes.) Some of the exercises are isometric exercises our doctors have given us for shoulder and neck injuries over the years. Some come from various exercise tapes. Some I have made up in an effort to cover all my muscles. I use the steering wheel for resistance on several patterns.
We normally switch drivers every two hours. So theoretically I could get in 24 stretches. I never really get that many because when we drive through a town or a construction zone I have to take the cruise control off.
I am amazed at how much better I feel at the end of a long drive. In addition I get some exercise on travel days when there's often not time for a walk or a run.
I inherited a framed picture taken at my grandparent's 50th Anniversary Celebration. It is in my den. Friends look at it and say, "That's you on the back row, and that's your daughter in the front." No - the woman on the back row is my mother and the 4-year old girl in front is me. The three of us look remarkably alike in the face.
The rest of us is quite different. My mom and I are both tall; over 5'6". My daughter doesn't think she will ever reach 5'3". My mom has never exercised, but she has great legs. What can you say when your 88 year old mother has better looking legs than you do? My daughter says, "I have the only grandmother who looks really good in denim shorts."
I learned how to cook from my Mom. She is a natural cook, quite fearless about trying new things. It's hard to get her recipes because while she may start with a printed card, she always adds or changes, tasting as she goes. I was a terribly picky eater as a child, existing mostly on meat and bread. (good Type O instincts on the meat; not so good on the bread) She kept patiently putting good food in front of me, and was delighted when I came home from college eating vegetables.
Another thing I learned from my Mom is how to listen. A favorite memory is coming home from school with my sister and sitting around the kitchen table telling Mom about our day. I was in high school in the late 60s and early 70s when the drug culture was sweeping across the US. I remember telling tales designed to shock at those after school snack times. Rather than lecture, she would say, "Well, what do you think about that?" or "Do you think that's a good idea?" Before long I was telling her how foolish or immature the event at school had been. I learned my best journalistic interviewing techniques not in college classes but around my kitchen table.
I learned about unconditional love from my Mom. That doesn't mean she approved of every thing I did. It means that while she tried to modify my behavior, she wasn't trying to change the real me inside. She is always supportive of my activities, always amiable with my friends, always interested in what I have to say.
The only thing I've ever known her to be afraid of is the computer. Hopefully my Dad will go onto my Blog today so I can say "I love you, Mom."
My students had earned a reward party for making their deadlines. They would have liked a half day shopping at the mall, but this close to finals I didn't think the principal would approve. We compromised on tacos and a movie in our classroom. So yesterday I bought lots of tacos (some beef and some bean and cheese) and we watched "Dumb and Dumber". After the party there were some beef tacos left.
Last night my husband and I had to go to a swim league meeting. I knew we would need to leave immediately for the meeting when he got home from work. What to do for dinner? I scooped out the meat and lettuce from some of the tacos and ate it with left over veggies. My daughter said she would warm up the left over lentils after we were gone (yes!). I thought - my husband does not follow the BTD, I'll just give him tacos and some sliced fruit. He can eat in the car on the way to the meeting, and I'll drive.
He ate the first taco pretty fast; I guess he was hungry. He opened the second taco and said, "This isn't good for me, is it?" before he ate it. He took the meat out of the third taco, and said, "Beef, yuck," and ate the corn shell and lettuce.
I felt so guilty. I cannot tell you how guilty I felt. I've been trying to get him interested following the Type A Diet. I prepare type A lunches for him to take to work, and I try to make the new Type A foods I serve at dinner appetizing. Then not only do I serve him a major avoid for dinner, but he recognizes it and calls it to my attention.
After the meeting he was driving home and took an exit that wasn't for our house. I asked where we were going, and as he pulled into Dairy Queen he said, "I have a craving for a freeze."
Well that ended my guilt! But it is interesting to me that he is recognizing what is good for him, and he expects me to feed him beneficials. However he's not ready to take personal responsibility for his eating yet.
Sometimes experiences that test and aggravate us at the time later turn out to benefit and encourage others. (2 Corinthians 1:4). I had an experience with the pill that might help Jennifer and other young women who are deciding about this issue.
When my husband and I married, my doctor automatically put me on the pill. I don't recall that the doctor even talked about any other birth control method. I remember him saying that unless I wanted to have a baby, I could stay on the pill until I was in my 40s. I had a vague feeling that I didn't like how the pill made me feel, but everyone else I knew was using the pill, so I took it.
One evening when we had been married about a year we invited another couple over for dinner. My friend and I were in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on dinner, when she began complaining about her gynecologist. She said that he didn't completely trust the pill and that he made all his patients get off once a year. I told her about my gynecologist who wouldn't talk to me about anything but the pill. We laughed and said we should switch doctors, but before she left my house that night, I got her doctor's name.
I made an appointment with him, and he said that while he believed the pill was safe for most women, he wanted his patients once a year to get off and have one normal menstrual cycle. Then they could go back to the pill. He had information about lots of other birth control methods and the percentages of effectiveness for each one.
My husband, being an engineer, recognized the statistical principal that combining two methods would increase the effectiveness to equal the pill. So I stopped the pill; just for a few weeks, we thought.
It was a full year before I had a period. It was two years before my cycle was back to normal. Some women, like me, over react to the pill, but there is no way to know ahead of time who will do fine and who will have problems.
Now that I have two children I ask myself, "What if I had stayed on the pill for years until we were ready for a baby? How long then would it have taken for my cycle to return to normal? Could I ever have gotten pregnant?"
Needless to say I never went back on the pill. I don't oppose other women taking it, but I think that gynecologist's idea of giving your body a break once a year is excellent. I also believe that the conversation in the kitchen with my friend was the direct intervention of God in my life and in the lives of my future son and daughter.
My daughter's mouth was really sore after her trip to the orthodontist, so last night I told her I was going to cook lentils. I said that they would be very soft and feel good in her mouth.
I had bought ingredients for a lentil and barley recipe. Half way through cooking, I decided it didn't smell very flavorful, so I added the spices (marjoram, thyme, garlic and celery) from a lentil recipe on RECIbase.
I fixed frozen blueberries for her and a salad with fresh cauliflower for my husband. They came to serve their plates and looked suspiciously at the pot of lentils. "Don't tell me what it is," said my husband. "I don't want to know. I'll just call it gumbo."
They took tentative tastes. "It's not bad," said my husband. "It's not my favorite, but I'd eat it again," said my daughter. Soon they both got up and went back for seconds. It took great self control not to jump up and shout "YES".
Lentils and barley are both avoids for me, so with my salad I had a ground beef patty, yellow squash and grilled onions. A two blood type family sure generates a lot of dirty pots and pans!